PASSAGE

WHAT: CIESZYN TRAIN STATION EXPANSION
WHO: Piotr Gniewek, Tomasz Kujawski
WHY: competition
WHERE: Cieszyn
WHEN: 2014


The new station hosting both trains and buses was planned due to an intensive development of Cieszyn’s historical downtown. A wide range of new facilities should be located on a comparatively small site, which created a problem of spatial collisions between vehicle traffic, tourist pathways and preservation of historical part of the city.
The integration of services of railway and bus stations is fundamental for the conception. Merging of all facilities takes place along the passage which becomes a platform for the bus station at the same time. Roofing with a needed supporting structure is designed as a fencing wall. It divides the noisy area of railway station platforms and supporting carparks from calmer and more representative part of the passage, bus platforms and tourist services.
A very massive wall appears to be as „a gate to the city” for both those who enter and leave the city. It also gives the feeling that spatial conditions are as important as utilitarian ones.

The spot is located close to the historical downtown of Cieszyn. Due to the historical events the city, which had developed as a whole, was divided. In each part, some basic urban features are missing. As a cause of this situation, the old supporting railway station is planned to became a new communication node on the Polish side of the city.
The proposition has to solve two main matters: the future of the existing railway station building and a challenge of hosting a bus station on the neighbouring plot.
The whole area is very long but very narrow at the same time. That causes traffic conflicts.
That is why the long roofing along the street was proposed. It provides a safe passage way for passengers, works at the same time as a platform for bus station, divides the plot according to the purpose and demands only one space for services, ticket points and a waiting room.

A long thick wall was proposed as a strong demarcation between two main spaces where one part is occupied by noisy and crowded carpark and railway station platforms and the second one is a pleasant passage running along the street with places for buses. The ending point of the passage is in the interior of the rearranged space of the railway station.
The wall is planned as a thick and massive element with openings which can show its thickness. It is a matter of substances. To pass a really massive wall is a very important experience. It is because of the feeling that the user has really made a transition from one space to another.
The thickness of the wall allows also to enrich the basic function by sanitary, storage and commercial space.

Beyond the utilitarian purpose of the medieval stone wall it could be described as a carved, hollowed and sculpted mass.
The way how it is done reveals the essence of the building – solidity of the mass and a strong tension between inside and outside, one space and another. Those attributes were a starting point for the aesthetic and spatial ideas of a new structure.